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Prepare for back-to-school shopping the smart way

Prepare for back-to-school shopping the smart way

@TheSunGazette

fresno – Back to school shopping is some of the most expensive shopping there is. There are back to school clothes, binders, backpacks, shoes, pencils, pens, tablets and so much more. For the parents that have multiple children going back to school at the math really starts to add up. That is why the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is hoping to help parents find the right deal for them and avoid over spending.

According to the National Retail Federation, combined back-to-school and back to college spending is expected to reach an all-time high – $83.6 billion. Also according to the survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, families with children that range from elementary school to high school plan to spend an average of $687.72 each, while college students and their families plan to spend an average of $969.88 this year.

In terms of back-to-school shopping, 57.1 percent plan to shop at a department store, 54.1 percent plan to shop at a discount store, and 45.5 percent plan to shop online, while 44.1 percent of back-to-college shoppers plan to shop online, and 40 percent plan to shop at a discount store for all their back-to-school needs.

BBB Serving Central California & Inland Empire Counties offers up the following tips on how to shop smart when starting your back-to-school or back-to-college shopping:

Make a list

You can either wait for the school supplies list to come out, or start shopping without it. Even if you don’t have the exact list, you should have an idea of what to purchase regarding school clothes, and basic supplies. Jot everything down on a list and stick to it! Impulse buying can jack up your overall total in a hurry.

Check your home

You may already have some of the items from last year hidden in your home. Why purchase the same thing twice if you don’t have too?

Research big ticket items

Before purchasing that expensive laptop, tablet or dorm refrigerator, be sure to do your research. Research the brands, warranty, customer reviews and the prices at various stores to be sure you’re getting the best deal.

Look for student discounts

Many stores and software companies offer discounts to students that have either an .edu email address or a student ID. Even if you don’t see a discount advertised at the store, ask!

Stay Secure

When shopping from an online web site the first step is to make sure the URL starts with “https” and includes a lock symbol. The S in “https” stands for secure, that way you know your information is being protected.

Look up the web site’s privacy policy and contact information. If it is not clearly listed, or they only have an email as the point of contact, take that as a big red flag and shop elsewhere.

For more tips you can trust, visit bbb.org/ccie For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 167 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. The BBB Serving Central California & Inland Empire Counties which was founded in 1950 and serves Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Tulare, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

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